Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter [Review]

Title: The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter
Author: Lawana Blackwell
Labels: Fiction | Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
Contains: N/A
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | The Publisher

My Rating:  (I liked it very much)
Blurb: In The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, Julia Hollis and Vicar Andrew Phelps are planning their December wedding and working toward blending their families together. With young Phillip Hollis about to leave for boarding school, and Elizabeth Phelps practically engaged to curate Paul Treves, both families seem prepared for the coming event.
          But Jonathan Raleigh, the Oxford rogue who broke Elizabeth's heart in the past, suddenly appears in Gresham professing to be a Christian and apologizing for his behavior. Then he takes a difficult position as Gresham's schoolmaster to prove he has changed. While Elizabeth will have nothing to do with Jonathan, she realizes she must come to terms with Paul Treves. The curate is handsome and godly and considered a "catch", but their romance is without the foundation of friendship she once had with Jonathan. Is this a love that was meant to be? Meanwhile, readers will be delighted when another unlikely romance blooms between two characters in Gresham who will need all the help they can get from an unusual source. [From Goodreads]
          Lawana Blackwell has my utter respect. Despite the rather large cast of characters in The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, each and every one had such a unique personality. All the characters - even minor ones - were well-rounded, believable individuals.

          The book itself almost seemed to have several different ongoing plots, though all, for the most part, involving a romance in the small village of Gresham. I'm really not even sure there was a single main character, but rather many. Now, while that may scream chaos to the reader, I actually found all the characters and plots neatly interwoven into an very good book. On a slight side note, I also love Blackwell's writing style (or at least the style she uses in this book).

          The only complaint I had against this book is that it didn't draw me in until I was a good chunk into the book. Actually, I didn't have any real interest in what was going on until the introduction of Seth (p. 69). Once he came onto the scene, I held out through the uninteresting parts for the sections of each chapter that spotlighted Seth. I am glad to say I eventually did become interested and drawn into the other character's lives and stories, but not nearly as soon as I would have liked.

          My two favorite characters were definitely Seth and Mercy. The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter is a great read and I would most certainly recommend it.

          I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

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